Classic Muscle Car Disc Brake Conversion
Upgrading 1965-67 classic Ford front brakes from drum to disc
Owning and driving an old Ford can be one of the greatest pleasures in life, especially if you're an aging baby boomer who remembers a golden age of good looking rides, fast times, and the euphoria of youth. It was in these vintage Fords we made our plans and dreamed of the future. When we were cruising around in these cars decades ago, we didn't know any better when it came to safety. Stopping meant planning ahead. We had four-wheel drum brakes at our disposal and that's all we knew. Power assist presented the illusion of better braking, but power drums brakes were just as prone to failure as manual drums were. When they got wet, they didn't stop you. And under hard braking, they faded terribly.
Fast Braking Solutions
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation (SSBC) was founded three decades ago to help make vintage Fords and classic Mustangs safer. SSBC's original approach was remanufactured disc brake packages for Mustangs and Corvettes. As time went on, SSBC saw a huge demand for new disc brake kits and so it went. There isn't a disc brake kit or part you can't get from SSBC for your vintage Ford, Mercury, or Lincoln for mild street performance all the way up to big-heavy-large racing binders.
Quick, One-Day Install
We're going to install a pair of street simple four-piston disc brakes on a classic Mustang; however, there are many choices available. SSBC offers a drum to disck brake conversion kit (A120) for front, four-piston disc brake upgrade for vintage Fords and classic Mustangs. It is a reproduction of the iron Kelsey-Hayes four-piston disc brake originally factory-fitted to 1965-67 Mustangs and other Fords. Suffice it to say, everything covered here also applies to Mustang, Cougar, Fairlane, Torino, Maverick, Comet, and a host of others, because they all have the same basic underpinnings.
All you have to do is place a drip pan beneath your drum brakes and get to work. Drum brakes can be removed as one complete assembly. Disconnect brake hoses at the body then remove the drums. Remove four nuts/studs at the spindles and the drum brake slides right off. SSBC makes it possible to use existing spindles, which makes this swap easy.
Never Turn New Rotors
Before you get started, we will caution you never to turn new rotors that have not yet been driven and heat-cycled. Though a lot of shops do this, it is not recommended. Again, we have only our experience to go on: Every time we've had new rotors turned, they warp, confirming our belief they need heat cycling and use beforehand. Doing so heat treats the iron and makes it harder. On this same note, never turn rotors any more than one time. Turn them once and discard them on the next brake job.
Bedding Brake Pads
Once you have properly connected all lines and bled the system thoroughly, you're ready for brake pad bedding. There are a lot of different points of view on how to bed brake pads, but we have one basic approach that has worked for us time and time again. Find a deserted road with a lot of room. Accelerate to 60 mph with both hands on the wheel. Slam on the brakes hard and come to a complete stop. Take a spin and allow brakes to cool for about 15 minutes.
At 30 mph, slam on the brakes and come to a complete stop. Take a drive and allow brakes to cool. Again, accelerate to 60 mph. Slam on the brakes hard and come to a complete stop. Take a drive and allow brakes to cool for about 15 minutes. Accelerate to 30 mph and slam on the brakes bringing your vehicle to a complete stop. Take a drive and allow brakes to cool. Pads should be bedded and rotors heat-seasoned. It really does take time to season iron castings. Within 500-1000 miles of driving, your brake pedal should be hard as a rock with firm, confident operation. Bleed your new brakes again at 500-1000 miles, which should remove any remaining trapped air in the system.
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